Maternity Fashion – part 1

I love clothes and I love fashion. I’m a bit of a sucker for new trends, seem to buy a new Winter coat every year, and new boots oh and a new pair of trainers. Well let’s face it what girl doesn’t?

So when I became pregnant for the last (and final!) time in May I was as excited about the new clothes I could wear for the duration of my pregnancy as I was at the prospect of buying tiny white baby grows again. It had been 8 and 5 years since I was pregnant with my daughters and I was thrilled to see that things had moved on considerably in the world of maternity clothes.

The first 15 weeks was during the Summer and I felt horrendous, sick, bloated and so so tired. I kept things simple –  cotton lose dresses, stretchy shorts that were super comfortable on my tummy and a whole lot of Breton tops, all of which were my normal clothes I already owned. One of my favourite shops on the high street is Cos, it delivers simple yet stylish cuts which suited by expanding shape (not to mention bra size) and I know I’ll forever more wear these pieces season after season. I wore the navy dress below in August to a wedding but I’ll also be wearing it this Autumn with thick tights and boots.

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But then the bump literally popped out from no where, one day I looked normal the next I looked like I gauged on 17 bowels of pasta before mid day. Then I knew it was time to shop around and see what was on offer. I wanted to stay true to my  style, I was only  pregnant after all. I hadn’t had a personality transplant (yet) so looked at my favourite brands which I knew and trusted well.

Firstly was ASOS. Everyone is familiar with the wealth of choice on their website, not only do they produce their own brand ASOS Maternity but they also stock other maternity brands such as New Look, Isabella Oliver and Mamalicious. You can browse by colour, style and occasion and what’s more if you sign up to ASOS premier you can have your clothes delivered next day only for £9.99 a year! They update their clothes almost daily so be sure to keep checking their site for new added lines.

Here are some of my favourite pieces (click the photos for the link)



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The black stretchy dungaree jumpsuit is a great example of how maternity clothes will work perfectly after you’ve had the baby especially for boob access. Remember that you don’t miraculously look how you did pre pregnancy so when shopping for clothes think ‘tummy and boobs’ . Boobs when breastfeeding need to be accessible at sometimes an hourly basis and you may feel self concious of your wobbly tummy so keeping it hidden is key. Also think of the type of material you’re buying – nothing silk or dry clean only for obvious reasons and you’re super sweaty and hot post birth with all the extra hormones pouring (literally) out of you, so try and steer clear from synthetic fabrics such as polyester.

So that’s a bit about what I’m wearing now, I’ve got some great jumper dresses to show you which I’ll post next week and what maternity bras I’m wearing at the mo, so keep your eyes peeled for more blog post. You can follow this blog by adding you email address in the top right hand box and I also put all my post on my Facebook page so be sure to like that too.

Disclaimer: Whilst I am a registered midwife, I do not endorse or promote any specific brand or product in a professional capacity. My opinions are my own and are based on my personal experiences as a woman and a mother.

Bravo for Bravado!

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In my last blog post I mentioned that I’ve given up on underwired bras, they would dig in under my expanding ribcage and lets face it comfort is key in pregnancy. Some days it would be so uncomfortable I would unhook my bra in the car on the way home and whip it off, much to my children’s horror. Sorry girls but one day you’ll understand if you have big boobs like Mama.

In my previous pregnancies I continued to wear my normal bras (albeit a few sizes bigger) and then went into nursing bras once I was breastfeeding. I never found nursing bras that comfortable and being a lady of a fuller bust anyway, I always thought I’d need under wiring to give me support and a decent shape.

Things have really moved in since then and Bravado have come up with some super duper bras which are perfect for pregnancy and breastfeeding. I don’t see the point in buying maternity bras and then nursing bras (the only difference is the clip down feature) plus you’ll save a heap of money if you invest wisely now.

Bravado have created the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra which is cleverly designed to be worn during pregnancy and beyond. Win win! It combines faultless style with effortless comfort and it’s unique design moulds itself to every woman’s unique shape. Which is perfect if you’re like me and have big boobs. With cups that fully drop away and clips that lie flat under close-fitting clothing, easily opened and closed with one hand, the award winning bra is perfect for breastfeeding, offering babies full access for important skin-to-skin contact. This versatile maternity and nursing bra can also be cleverly transformed into a regular bra after feeding, making it a good investment and great value for money.


WHY I LOVED IT :It’s comfortable, stylish, and functional. This bra is great because it has a wide comfortable band that doesn’t dig into my boobs/ribs as many others did, and it is cut low enough that it doesn’t stick out under vest tops or low-cut shirts. I love the removable foam pads that will prevent bulky nursing pads from showing through tighter fitting tops.

I’ve also started going to a local pregnancy yoga group which is doing wonders for my back ache and it’s really lovely to meet some other pregnant women in a non work environment. Bravado have come up trumps again with their Body Silk Seamless Yoga Bra, a maternity and nursing bra designed to offer the ultimate comfort and support for mums’ active lifestyle. The luxuriously soft Body Silk Seamless Yoga has been designed with patented Silverbreeze™ technology to support low impact activity such as yoga, pilates and walking as well as everyday activity, both during pregnancy and while adjusting to life as a new mum. The new Yoga bra is available in Charcoal or Bright Pink and features convertible criss-cross straps as well as an embroidered ‘B’ on the underband helping to give it both a stylish and sporty look.BSS-Yoga-HeatherPink-Ghost_5f2b09a4-9687-4722-93e6-ddeb9daedeb6

WHY I LOVED IT: The Yoga bra in pink was a great colour and it didn’t mater that it showed through my yoga top. Again the wide band was supportive around my rib cage and was so comfortable I wore it for the rest of the day. But the most important feature is it stood the ultimate test of time – during ‘cat pose’ in the class by boobs stayed firmly put and didn’t spill out!

Check out Bravado’s site, they’ve got a whole load of other bras all perfect for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Disclaimer: Whilst I am a registered midwife, I do not endorse or promote any specific brand or product in a professional capacity. My opinions are my own and are based on my personal experiences as a woman and a mother.

28 Weeks – Warts and All

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*Warning, this blog post may contain a bit of TMI but it’s all true and sometimes you’ve just got to share this stuff because lets face it, sharing it caring (or so I try to teach my children when I want some of their chips).*


I often get asked how this pregnancy compares to my previous singleton pregnancies, so far it’s been kind of the same minus the extra scans and the same repetitive questions from people (are they identical, do you know the sex, are there twins in your family etc etc) but OH MY GOD something has seriously shifted in the Hooper uterus because in the past week I have noticed some seriously weird goings on in there!

  • Firstly the movements, they still feel like a bag of dancing squirrels but both babies are breech at the moment and the kicks down onto my cervix and vagina are UNREAL! I swear the other night if I had examined myself internally I would have discovered 2 sets of wriggling feet in there (I know logically this is impossible but still) #fanydaggers
  • And whilst we’re on the subject of ‘down there’ let’s a just say it’s a good thing I can’t actually see it any more because by the end of the day I feel like I’m smuggling plums in my pants. I did in fact get my poor husband to have a check to make sure nothing more sinister is going on, he reassured me there wasn’t but did ask if I was ever going to wax again……
  • Which leads me onto the ‘to wax/or not wax question’. I’m not sure I want to expose that area unnecessarily and lets face it I’m not getting my bikini on ANY TIME soon maybe I’ll leave it au naturale, I always tell my women anyway that midwives don’t bat an eyelid
  • The feeling of two hard heads under my ribs is so uncomfortable. I’m no longer able to wear underwired bras, I’m living in this one at the moment and in all honestly I’m most likely to be found braless by 6pm by my husband when he gets home from work
  • I’m moisturising  my bump like a crazy lady with Bio Oil but my skin this week feels like it’s really being stretched to its maximum capacity, if I get to the end of this pregnancy without one single stretch mark it will be nothing short of a miracle
  • My back is an absolute killer especially when driving. I’m spending lots of time in the deepest, hottest bath I can tolerate but I’m also seeing my Doula Beccy ‘magic’ Hands for regular massages. She’s seriously the best in the biz check her out here  and yes Hands is her actual surname, amazing
  • My boobs resemble a road map with the veins that have sprung up in the past few weeks and I’m already noticing a few drops of colostrum on my pyjama top when I wake up in the morning. All good stuff for the bubbas I guess
  • My husband made me laugh so hard the other night I wet myself. Yup. First I thought my waters had broken but luckily it was just a sign that my pelvic floor has given up entirely on it’s main function, Tenna Lady anyone?
  • Iron is not my friend or my bowels friend for that matter. I’m taking Pregnacare and extra iron (a recommendation for twin pregnancies) but I’m seriously bunged up. Flax seeds are being sprinkled on just about anything I eat but nothing is really helping. And anyone who has experienced constipation when pregnant knows how awful it is. There’s nothing worse, and straining on the loo ain’t pretty, nuff said
  • I did do the unthinkable at the weekend and weighed myself which surprisingly wasn’t as horrifying as I imagined –  just short of a stone heavier than my usual weight which I guess is ok considering there’s 2 of everything in there (but I doubt I’ll weigh myself again, not even for lolz)

BUT on a positive note to end with, we had our first Hypnobirthing session last week with the incredible Hollie de Cruz. She is literally something else. I know I’ve banged on about the amazing tools hypnobirthing teaches women but SERIOUSLY after one session we both felt so calm and connected and learnt all about breathing. Yes breathing, the simple thing we do totally subconsciously but it’s so important for labour and birth.  And my slightly sceptical husband has totally taken it on board, he’s put my positive affirmations around the house and has been doing the breathing exercises with me before I go to sleep. We are hooked!

Disclaimer: Whilst I am a registered midwife, I do not endorse or promote any specific brand or product in a professional capacity. My opinions are my own and are based on my personal experiences as a woman and a mother.

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Just Polly Maternity Clothes



Nothing excites me more than discovering a new brand of maternity clothes, especially as I’m pregnant myself and Just Polly is just hitting all the right spots for me. Set up by Polly Hayward, she was inspired by seeing her sister struggle to wear stylish breastfeeding friendly outfits at various weddings one summer. With a background in the fashion industry as a Stylist and Art Director, Just Polly was born and the results are brilliant.

Polly has created some staple wardrobe pieces for the fashion concious woman who doesn’t want to compromise just because she’s growing a human for 9 months. And what’s more, all their pieces in the collection has been put together with breastfeeding in mind – with button down shirts and hidden pockets, boob access has never been so conveniently designed.

WHY I LOVE IT: If you’re like me and love the minimal yet luxury style of COS, Whistles and Folk, Just Polly has bridged that gap for maternity fashion which other high street brands aren’t doing. The pieces are versatile so can be dressed up or down, perfect for your work wardrobe, party outfit or weekend lounge wear. None of the items look like ‘maternity wear’ so you won’t mind wearing them longafter you’ve had your baby when you’re trying to dress your postnatal figure.



The Kimmy Skirt

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The Ellie Shirt

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The Charlie Trouser


The Fran Striped Tee

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The Daisy Dress


The Betty Lace Dress


The Alexia 2 In 1 Dress


M&S Maternity Clothes – Who Knew?

A few months ago I was approached by the lovely Maggie Davis Kidswear and Lingerie editor for M&S (who also blogs over at Chic Little Baby) to see if I’d be interested in being interviewed for Marks and Spencer’s ‘In the Moment’ section on their website. Plus I would get to wear their new maternity clothes collection and have some gorgeous photos taken. Now I have to admit I’d never considered M&S as a shop to go to when buying maternity clothes, underwear, kids school unifrom, food yes! But once I’d seen their stunning collection I was sold! They have really captured a fabulous selection of great pieces all with the M&S high quality you’d expect and at high street prices.

You can read the entire interview here on the M&S website, but here’s a collection of the photos from the day and shop the collection here.

I was really impressed with the clothing, they were soft, comfy, well cut and had really been designed well for a growing and changing shape. Lots of the items I wore are also meant to be for after you’ve had your baby, which is always a must for me as your postnatal body and style takes some thinking through.

“You can’t go wrong with a good Breton top. This one is really soft and stretchy, so you can wear it long or short”

“You can’t go wrong with a good Breton top. This one is really soft and stretchy, so you can wear it long or short”

“You can’t have enough pairs of leggings. They’re great for every day and you can dress them up with a smart top and low heels”

“You can’t have enough pairs of leggings. They’re great for every day and you can dress them up with a smart top and low heels”

“Go for soft, natural fibres like cotton and  cashmere where possible – comfort is key and you get much hotter than usual during pregnancy”

“Go for soft, natural fibres like cotton and cashmere where possible – comfort is key and you get much hotter than usual during pregnancy”

“Invest in two to three pairs of good maternity jeans, including a skinny cut and a boyfriend style – they go with everything”

“Invest in two to three pairs of good maternity jeans, including a skinny cut and a boyfriend style – they go with everything”

“There’s no need to buy a special maternity coat as you’ll probably overheat – a long cardigan like this one is perfect”

“There’s no need to buy a special maternity coat as you’ll probably overheat – a long cardigan like this one is perfect”

“It’s all about comfort. Invest in a good pair of flat shoes; they will last you once you’ve had the baby and you’re pacing the streets with the buggy”

“It’s all about comfort. Invest in a good pair of flat shoes; they will last you once you’ve had the baby and you’re pacing the streets with the buggy”

Thanks so much to Maggie and the M&S team for featuring me on your site.

Disclaimer: Whilst I am a registered midwife, I do not endorse or promote any specific brand or product in a professional capacity. My opinions are my own and are based on my personal experiences as a woman and a mother.

Kirsti and Sonny

photo by Philippa James

photo by Philippa James

The second birth story in the ‘positive elective c-section’ series is from Kirsti, who despite her plan to have a natural birth had no choice but to opt for a c-section due to a potentially serious complication with her placenta.

“So – I should start by telling you that I am quite late into motherhood, I was 37 when I fell pregnant, 38 when Sonny-Jay was actually born.

A lot of our friends had had some sort of difficulty conceiving so we were totally prepared for the same to happen to us….it didn’t – I fell pregnant within 2 months of trying (insert strong arm emoji for dad here!)

I remember it vividly, we had just moved into a one bed flat in Hackney in between Kingsland Road and London Fields….we had a ladybird problem so Jamie was in the bedroom sorting that whilst I was peeing on a stick in the bathroom.

That minute when you find out you’re preggo for the first time is magic I think….I felt elated, lucky, scared, apprehensive but most of all completely alive.

There aren’t many times in life when you know for a fact that your life as you know it is about to change FOREVER and this is one of them.

We made the calls to family and then got our own heads around the fact that we were going to be parents now.

Fully mental.

I was working full time and had a million projects on the go so didn’t stop for breath, I was totally focused on carrying on as normal – I felt that pregnancy was not going to affect my work ethic or the way that I lived my life.

I wasn’t sick ffs – just preggo!

Then the tiredness came, OMG massive waves of tiredness that lead to me calling the doctor to say that “this is definitely not normal” and “I think there is something REALLY wrong with me”

NOPE – this was normal and there was nothing wrong with me – so I took to working from 9am-4pm napping for 2 hours and then working again from 6pm-9pm.

I remember thinking how the hell do women that have to work certain hours manage, but of course we all manage with whatever we have to manage with.

Tiredness aside I felt pretty great, life was good and we were really excited.

We had the sexing scan in Dec at Homerton hospital and found out that we were having a boy – left the hospital and it started to snow – magic everywhere!!!

At that scan they did tell me that I have a low lying placenta but that they usually move and that it wasn’t anything to worry about.

I was monitored but this placenta was stubborn and it did not move – then I had a very – very faint bleed and so we thought we had better go get that checked out, I think I was about 30 weeks at that point….I was admitted to hospital immediately and prepped for labour….just in case….steroid injections were administered to help the babies lungs develop – all very scary and not what we were expecting at all.

It was about now that it dawned on me that this placenta was not going to move at all.

I had not felt my baby kicking the entire way through the pregnancy but I knew that he was ok because I could physically see him moving around my belly….the weirdest thing though….all my pregnant mates were complaining of being kicked to high heaven and I couldn’t feel a thing.

I hadn’t thought about it much before that moment but suddenly it all clicked into place.

So now I just wanted to know what was going to happen to my birth……..i’m a massive control freak so for me this really was the hardest bit of my pregnancy, I cried, I shouted, I argued with consultants but ultimately I had to wait until the last minute – which was the 37 week scan to be delivered the news I had been preparing myself for.

I had a grade 4 placenta previa – a potentially life threatening condition – it means in lay-mans terms that the placenta is covering all viable exits for the baby…..the natural route – the cervix and the  operative route – the belly.

I was told there and then that I was being booked in for a c section in 5 days time…..because I could not under any circumstances be allowed to go into a natural labour – I was relived but totally shocked and I absolutely felt robbed of the chance to give birth naturally – so I mourned that with some tears and then picked myself up and got on with it.

I had zero time to prep myself for what was about to happen so my mother in law to be (Susan Jessett – she’s very active on social media, you might already know her!) took over.

She researched everything and came to meet my consultant with me armed with folders full of print outs from the Royal College of Midwives – all with flouro post its marking the pages she wanted to discuss with the surgeon.

She managed to conduct that meeting without giving me the slightest idea of the seriousness of the situation. My ears only pricked up when she asked if a blood transfusion would be on stand by – “just precautionary” she said.

In theatre they were going to have to cut through my placenta to reach my baby.

This means that they had exactly one minute to deliver him safely.

THANK GOD I did not know this was the case going into theatre……all I knew was that Sonny was to be born within minutes and I was going to remain in theatre for approx an hour afterwards to be sorted out.

So the day before the operation came, I – oblivious to everything went and got my hair and nails done – worked right up until the hilt and then got up at 5am the day of the op and popped off to Homerton Hospital with Jamie, his mum and his dad and our suitcase in a cab – it was like going on some sort of weird holiday where you come home with a little human instead of a tan.

Thankfully the op went without a hitch – if you don’t count the fact that they wacked a hair net on my do and whipped my nail polish straight off)

All I wanted to hear was the cry of my newborn and the news that he was ok and then I could focus on having to lay there for another 60 minutes instead of holding my newborn. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t emotional at all…..Jamie said he was worried I didn’t actually care that we had just had a baby but I was just trying to get through it all the only way I know how…

When I was finally ready to go through with my baby the nurses in recovery exclaimed that “most women come in here looking like death but you look as though you’ve just been to a party”

Obviously all those years at Glastonbury skipping around the fields full of ahem “wild abandon” came in useful here but I’d definitely say the fact that I didn’t actually have a bloody clue how serious the op was played a big part in my being so relaxed.


Its fair to say that I was off my face later that day in hospital – on about a million drugs…….IT WAS SO WEIRD.

I was pretty battered and bruised around my nether regions after that op… could see where the elbows had been when they were pulling that baby out in the 60 seconds they had.

My midwife was visibly shocked when she saw me for the first time “GIRL – You’re black & blue!”

The first few months were hard for me….I wasn’t prepared for what was to come and I found it difficult to bond with my baby immediately – there was no baby bubble of love round our house I can tell you…….BUT…..we got there in our own time and now I LOVE Being a mum more than anything in the world and my god am I grateful to the team I had in that theatre with me.”



@kirstihadley is the co-founder the parenting network for mums and dads

Birth Story Of The Week – Charlotte and Xander


In a new series on the blog of breaking the ‘taboo’ about elective c-sections, and embracing the positivity that can surround them, I was fascinated to hear from Charlotte Philby from Motherland on her experience of her 3rd but 1st ‘natural’ c-section earlier last month.

“You’re having a c-section with NO ANAESTHETIC?!” The response of my dear (clearly demented) friend Jess to news that I am to receive a ‘natural cesarean’ at one of London’s leading NHS hospitals is testimony to why consultant midwife Belinda Green, who is pioneering the procedure, has decided to take its other name – the ‘skin-to-skin cesarean’ – for the purpose of a new study which launches next year.

After all, the description is misleading. As Green explains, there is nothing natural about a c-section of any kind. But for some women cesarean it is the safest option; and the purpose of the trial for which I have been asked to be guinea pig – a trial which will launch at University College London Hospital (UCLH) next year with the film of my baby’s birth shown to women participating in the study to demonstrate what is involved – is to replicate as closely as possible the experience of vaginal birth for women for whom natural delivery is not a viable option.

Not currently offered on the NHS in Britain, Belinda Green and her team hope to prove through their forthcoming Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) the positive outcomes for both mother and baby this kind of ‘slowed-down section’ can offer. Outcomes including improved bonding between mother and child, more easily established breastfeeding, and calmer newborns.

When I was first approached by Green, who previously ran the birthing centre at UCLH and now works in antenatal with a clinical and research interest in Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), if I’d like to be the model for the trial, I was immediately intrigued.

Having been born at this very hospital myself, some 32 years ago, and having had my first two children here by c-section – the first the result of a failed induction, the second as a result of not going into labour at 42-plus weeks, and showing no signs of – I had often wondered what it would be like to actually hold your baby before it is whisked off to be weighed. To experience more of my child’s birth than a quick glimpse over the paper partition that masks women from the somewhat severe clinical procedure being performed inches from their face during a standard section.

While I was eternally grateful for two healthy children who may well never have made it into this world without the grace of medical advances, I still wondered…

Dr Ruwan Wimalasundera, a Consultant Obstetrician and Fetal Medicine Specialist at UCLH, has been performing so-called natural cesareans to his private patients for the past 10 years. More common in the US, the procedure is much slower than a standard cesarean, he explains when we meet prior to my elective surgery.

Once the incision is made to the abdomen as per the standard method, he says, and the baby’s head emerges, rather than whisking the baby out as quickly as possible and taking it straight off to be cleaned and weighed under the lights – at which point both of my previous babies had screamed uncontrollably while I looked on helplessly, hoping for a glimpse and longing to soothe them myself – the newborn, I’m told, will be allowed to push and squeeze its way out into the world, as long as there are no obvious complications.

This will enable the baby to clear its own lungs, as it would during natural birth; and once it is free the surgeon will lift the baby out – with cord still attached, if it’s long enough – and pass it to the midwife who will hand it straight over to me, where it will rest for several minutes while I’m being stitched back together.

On the day, I arrive at surgery armed with a newborn hat (the greatest concern about immediate skin-to-skin is that baby will get cold in a theatre environment). Belinda Green is armed with a roll of tin foil, to lay over the towel that will rather glamorously enshrine me and the baby.

The atmosphere in theatre is one of eager anticipation, and despite the familiar array of catheters, scalpels et al (and needle to administer the spinal epidural) I find myself grinning with excitement. All goes according to plan, and watching my son’s body slowly emerge, once the screen between us has been lowered, is a moment I can still hardly believe was real. While my other children had screamed for minutes on end after first emerging, the moment my youngest son’s head is placed on my chest, still covered in mucus, he immediately calms.

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For the first time I’m able to marvel at the perfection of my bloodied, puffy-eyed newborn before anyone else. A sense of quiet elation enfolds us both as the buzz of the surgery melts away. All that remains is me, him, his father, a sense of total contentment, and the nagging joy of being one step closer to the sandwich in my hospital bag, after 16 hours nil by mouth…

A week or so later it’s impossible to say for certain quite what the impact of this delivery was, but I can honestly say that of all my three children (all equally delightful, of course) this baby has been by a long shot the most calm and content, latching onto the breast with ease and hardly ever grizzling or crying. And despite juggling three kids, and all the rest of it, I’ve never felt calmer as a new mother.

Of course this might have something to do with the reassurance of having done it all twice before, but I also believe that sense of ease is in no small way buoyed by the security provided by the memory of watching my child emerge, triumphantly, into the theatre like a small, warm and very hairy statue of liberty. Not to mention the sense of fulfilment at being the first one to welcome him, soothe and protect him from the throbbing noise and bright lights of the outside world.

Pregnancy Ramblings

It’s a funny thing getting past that ‘half way’ point in pregnancy, not that I’m wishing this pregnancy away (I’m well aware of how hard things are going to be come February). On the plus side the likelihood of getting to 40 weeks or beyond with twins (or so I’m told) is slim but my god does this pregnancy feel different to the other two.


  • Firstly the movements. I’m not quite sure which one is moving but it feels so weird when they both do, I described it to my husband like a bag of squirrels burying their nuts inside me. Constant digging and scrabbling, I guess they’re competing for space in there and I have no idea was position they’re in despite being a midwife, it’s really hard to palpate yourself
  • The bump is most definitely out, there’s no more awkward stares from commuters on the tube I even got offered a seat this week but being asked how long to go is becoming annoying ‘a long time!’ is my usual response.
  • I actually look about 6 weeks more than I am, I dread to think what I’ll look like at 37 weeks
  • I’m slathering my bump in Biol Oil  in the vein hope of not getting any stretch marks, wishing thinking perhaps?
  • My pelvis really aches by 6pm and I struggle to do my laces up without making that noise that old people make when the bend down so most evenings I find myself fully emerged in the bath, the only problem is trying to get out!
  • My iron levels have dropped a lot since early pregnancy so I’m back on the iron as well as Spatone despite feeling a bit constipated
  • I’m also taking really good care of my diet and eating patterns, I’m not particularly more hungry this time but I find I can’t eat a big evening meal so have been having tea with the kids. I’m also putting flax seeds on everything to keep things soft and moving down there. I DO NOT WANT PILES!
  • I’ve really noticed how much I attention I need to pay to my pelvic floor, especially after jumping up and down watching Florence and The Machine 2 weeks ago, oops! I’m actually doing them now as I type
  • My 20 week scan took 3 hours! Twin 2 was less cooperative than twin 1 and wouldn’t play ball but the Consultant eventually got all the measurements and my husband even nodded off at one point (he blames the previous last night and darkened room) and the sex of the babies were confirmed
  • Even though we know the sex of the babies I’m still a little reluctant to buy anything just yet, 28 weeks is still my ‘safe point’ in my head even though my daughters are desperate to buy their siblings tiny baby grows and soft toys
  • Names! We have had some discussion my husband hates most of my choices (no surprises there) I’ve realised it’s best not to mention it too many times and bring up the subject maybe at a later date?
  • I’ve decided to finish work much earlier than with the other pregnancies mainly because I’m not useful waddling around at births but also it gives me time to enjoy Christmas with my family before the BIG arrival next year

So that’s all for now, I’ve got some great maternity bras which I’m living in so will pop a blog post up about those soon and tonight my Doula is coming over for a birth ‘pow wow’ with myself and husband. And I’ve finally found the perfect maternity clothes to get me through the Winter months so will get some photos up next week to share with you all, all from the high street so no fear of breaking the bank.

Birth Story Of The Week – Alice and Etta


I have absolutely loved telling my birth story to just about anyone and everyone who would listen but have never actually put it down on paper (or screen) before. Greg and I weren’t exactly ‘trying’ for a baby, I had been told that for a variety of reasons I would find it difficult to conceive and although we were only recently engaged, we thought we might just stop not trying to have a baby and see what happened.

We were living in Singapore at the time and had possibly the best doctor I have ever met, I had one ‘chemical pregnancy’ (I lost the baby before the first full month) and, despite us thinking we were set to have a few low moments to come, the next month Etta arrived.

The first 3 months were hell, Singapore is a very hot and humid country and that coupled with smells of street food that I used to adore made for one very very unwell lady. Because of my history, I spent the first 3 months petrified, in tears and only able to keep chocolate Magnums down. Luckily everything after that went swimmingly (if you call moving country at 34 weeks swimmingly – but that’s another story).

At 11:30am on the 9th I went to Tooting medical centre for a midwife check up (I was due on the 10th) and was told that Etta’s head, which was previously engaged, was completely free and that it was unlikely she would be making an appearance any time soon. I was going to say that I was a little disappointed but that would be the understatement of the century – I was hot, I was swollen, I had leg pains, back pains, and reflux and I was so ready to meet my little girl. I stomped all the way home to Wimbledon hoping to encourage her down with the walk.

That evening at 5:00pm my contractions started – at the time I was in the park talking to a fellow dog walker. I suddenly said ‘I have to go my baby is coming’ and ran off, he probably thought I was crazy. Luckily Greg had just got off the train, so we both started up our ‘count my contraction’ apps and tracked my progress.

At 10:00pm I was pretty sure labour had started (I thought I was in pain) and I wanted to get checked to make sure things were progressing well. Unfortunately the midwife had to tell me that my cervix hadn’t even opened or softened enough for her to do a sweep and technically I still wasn’t in labour. I was told to head home and expect a long night.


I called my mum and dad and told them what was going on, at which point my mum insisted that ‘her baby needed her’ and came to ours to ‘help’ us watch TV, chat, try to eat and pass the time.

At 1:00am the pain changed, this was the type of pain that meant I couldn’t chat and 8 Out of 10 Cats does Count Down was really really starting to piss me off. At 2:00am we headed back to St. George’s. I was examined again and told that I was now 2cm dilated – things were only just starting. I was shocked, how could I be in that much pain if nothing was really happening?? I begged the midwife for drugs – at this stage I think I should mention that I had planned a beautiful serine all natural water birth, but that had 100% gone out the window –she told me that if I had the drugs I would have to stay but Greg would have to go home.

We went home had some painkillers (which killed no pain) and tried desperately to sleep in between the contractions (every 2-3 minutes).

At 4:00am the pain changed again. Now I knew I was in pain, I was in serious serious pain.

My mum drove us into the hospital and all three of us headed up to the labour ward (me desperately praying I was more than 2cms dilated). This is where I got quite (ok, very very) ugly – there were 3 other couples in the waiting room and we ended up waiting an hour and 40 minutes to be seen, for this hour and 40 minutes I was rude, I was angry, I swore, I stamped my feet, I cried, I actually dug my nails so deeply into Greg I drew blood and I decided (adamantly) that despite everything I had said and everything I had hoped for for our birth, I was taking all the drugs they could possibly pump into me.

After an hour and 40 minutes I felt something and thought my waters had broken, I went to the toilet and there was blood – quite a lot of blood. The midwives decided to examine me and we were told that I was just 4cms dilated. I was heaving on the gas and air in between screaming at Greg, my mum, and anyone else that would listen for an epidural.

All of a sudden I had this extreme urge to push I told my midwives and they looked at me very skeptically. I insisted and they checked again and were amazed to find that I had gone from 4-10cms in just under 1 hour. I started pushing at 7:30 and at 8:26 Etta was born happy and healthy and plonked on my chest for a rub down and a cuddle.


Despite giving up on it completely, I had had the natural birth I had hoped for and Etta and I were discharged a record-breaking 5 hours after arrival (which I was very happy with until we got home and realised that we were all totally on our own to figure things out). We did work (most) things out and having Etta was the most indescribably happy moment of my entire life, one year on, I still relive that moment every morning I walk into her bedroom.


Alice is a freelance writer and editor and publishes the online magazine Avocado Magazine

Why It Sometimes Can Suck Being a Pregnant Midwife


There seems to be this common perception that when you’re a midwife and become pregnant that all will be fine because you know what you’re doing, you’re a midwife after all.  Well sometimes I want to scream I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! And it doesn’t just come from friends and family, it comes from fellow midwives, GPS, obstetricians, the lot. They all believe because you’re a midwife you have some special powerful uterus and an extra special cervix and vagina. Well let me let you into a little secret….. my reproductive organs are exactly the same as yours and knowledge doesn’t always give you power.

  • I sometimes secretly wish I knew nothing about pregnancy and birth and erased any of the trauma and negativity that I’ve seen
  • I actually know very little about twin pregnancies (I still haven’t decided if that”s a good thing or not)
  • If I’m ever in the SCBU I glance very quickly at the tiniest of babies and squeeze my stinging eyes together trying not to think about the ‘what ifs’
  • But it might be ok if they’re born early because the care for premature babies nowadays is so amazing
  • Every tiny cramp or bleed (I’ve been having a few of those) my mind immediately reminds me of those women I’ve looked after who’s babies were too premature to make it
  • I can never forget the 16,17 or 18 weekers who I’ve wrapped in tiny hand knitted blankets no bigger than a handkerchief and carefully taken those precious hand and foot prints for their parents to keep and treasure
  • I keep focusing on getting to the next week and might feel reassured when I hit 28 weeks
  • I still spend hours at night in bed reading other twin mum forums for reassuring stories of great outcomes at full term
  • I have no idea which one is moving when I feel them move and wonder if I ever will be able to tell them apart
  • If one more person asks me what sort of birth I’m going to have I might scream because I don’t know, I’m not thinking about it yet I’m just focusing on getting through the weeks
  • And the same goes for feeding, I have no idea how I’ll feed them hopefully with milk whether it’s my own or formula but sanity will help me make that choice
  • I keeping having thoughts about the next scan and what if there’s something wrong with one of them, or both, what if I have to make an awful decision?
  • I silently curse when it feels like my cervix is going to drop out by the end of the day but have to think rationally that it won’t (hopefully)
  • Sometimes I just want to be treated like every other normal pregnant person and not be greeted with shock/gasps/laughter from others when they hear I’m having twins
  • I’m still answering the same 4 questions – when are you due? are they identical? are there twins in your family? do you know the sex?

*Just to say it isn’t all bad there are a million perks to being a pregnant midwife for example my lovely consultant scanned me today after another little bleed and told me what we’re having*